In November, Court Theatre had the privilege of hosting nearly 600 UChicago students attending performances of The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. We asked students to share a brief reflection on the production. UChicago student Camila Silva submitted the outstanding entry posted below. Many thanks to Camila and all the students who experienced this production!
This adaptation of Othello gave me goosebumps that persisted long after the performance was over. I have a profound admiration and respect for each of the actors, for they all did a spectacular job conveying emotions through their body language and facial expressions.
The simplicity of the staging amplified the creative boundaries and made for fascinating scenery. At one moment the scaffold was a boat going through a raging tempest, at another it was a balcony bustling with people, at another it was a bedroom where Desdemona awaited her death. The way that the lighting transformed the steelwork into spaces across time was beautiful.
There were several elements of the play that brought us into close proximity with the characters. First, the literal proximity to the characters. I had Cassio nearly die right beside me. Desdemona looked me right in the eye and asked me to have mercy. Othello was so close that I could count every tear that streamed down his face. There was so much action that I often found myself looking all around me to try to take it all in. The impossibility to take it all in at once meant each audience member watched a slightly different version of the play, and this made me feel like I was a bystander—a true witness—to the events that went down. It was an incredibly immersive and intimate experience.
Overall, I felt the play was brilliant and I will definitely be returning to Court Theatre.
Photo of Kelvin Roston, Jr. and Timothy Edward Kane on the scaffolding with the audience on stage (Michael Brosilow).